In a conference management system, a user can create one ore many conferences. The user that creates a conference is the conference organizer. But a user can also register in a conference.

So there should be 3 entities: Conference, User, Organizer

Conference: id, name, description

Organizer: id, name, description

User: id, name, username, password, email, etc

Now, do you know how the relationships between this entities should be?

This model seems difficult to understand, because a organizer can organize multiple conferences and a conference is organized by one organizer. So should be a 1 to many relationship between organizer and conference? But then, the organizer is also a user that besides create a conference can also register in conferences. So how should be the relation between the user and the event/organizer?


First, lets consider the User - Organizer relationship:

  • An Organizer is a User but a User may or may not be an Organizer

This is a one-to-one (1 - 0..1) relationship. One way to implement it is by having the PRIMARY KEY of Organizer being a FOREIGN KEY that references User:

    user_id         PK

    organizer_id    PK  FK -> User 

Now, for the Conference, it seems there are 2 relationships:

  • An Organizer can organize many Conferences; a Conference has exactly one Organizer.

This is one-to-many relationship as you correctly noted. The common way to implement it is to have organizer_id in Conference:

    conference_id   PK
    organizer_id       FK -> Organizer
  • The relationship between User and Conference is probably many-to-many. A User can participate in many conferences and a conference can have many participating user.

We need a junction table:

    conference_id   PK FK1 -> Conference
    user_id         PK FK2 -> User
  • Thanks for your answer. I didnt understand this part "This is a 1 - 0..1 relationship", because you have user_id as a fk in the organizer table so like that its not a one to many relationship between user and organizer? – Denn Dec 16 '17 at 0:46
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    It's one-to-one. The PK of Organizer is also the FK to User. I edited a bit on that part. I hope it's more clear now. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Dec 16 '17 at 0:48
  • Thanks again, so the user table stays with(user_id, name, username,password, email, organizer_id) and the organizer table with (organizer_id, description) right? Also in this case do you know if its a identifying or non identifying relationship? – Denn Dec 16 '17 at 0:54
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    It's identifying - because you can't have an organizer without (being also) a user. See this answer at SO: stackoverflow.com/questions/762937/… – ypercubeᵀᴹ Dec 17 '17 at 2:25

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